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Radioactive Water Dumped into Pacific Ocean

11:45 AM, Apr 4, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The Los Angeles Times reports that radioactive water is now being dumped into the Pacific Ocean from the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan:

The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant began releasing about 11,500 tons of radioactive water into the sea Monday evening so that it could make room in storage tanks for even more severely contaminated water.

Some 10,000 tons of the water being released into the ocean was being taken from a communal storage facility near the No. 4 reactor. Another 1,500 tons was being released from the vicinity of the No. 5 and 6 reactors — which have been less troubled than reactors Nos. 1 through 4. The amount of water being released is equivalent to more than four Olympic-size swimming pools.

Although the water being released had levels of radioactive iodine 131 more than 100 times the legal limit allowed for sea discharge, the government approved the release as an "emergency" measure so that water with 100,000 times more radiation than the water found in a normally functioning reactor can be removed from the basement of the turbine building at reactor No. 2 and stored somewhere on the site.

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